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Growth, Structural Change and Technological Capabilities. Latin America in a Comparative Perspective

  • Mario Cimoli
  • Marcio Holland
  • Gabriel Porcile
  • Annalisa Primi
  • Sebastiàn Vergara

Countries differ in terms of technological capabilities and complexity of production structures. According to that, countries may follow different development strategies: one based on extracting rents from abundant endowments, such as labor or natural resources, and the other focused on creating rents through intangibles, basically innovation and knowledge accumulation. The present article studies international convergence and divergence, linking structural change with trade and growth through a North South Ricardian model. The analysis focuses on the asymmetries between Latin America and mature and catching up economies. Empirical evidence supports that a shift in the composition of the production structure in favor of R&D intensive sectors allows achieving higher rates of growth in the long term and increases the capacity to respond to demand changes. A virtuous export-led growth requires laggard countries to reduce the technological gap with respect to more advanced ones. Hence, abundance of factor endowments requires to be matched with technological capabilities development for countries to converge in the long term.

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Paper provided by Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy in its series LEM Papers Series with number 2006/11.

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Date of creation: 07 May 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2006/11
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  1. Jan Fagerberg, 1988. "International Competitiveness," Working Papers Archives 1988001, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
  2. Archibugi, Daniele & Coco, Alberto, 2004. "A New Indicator of Technological Capabilities for Developed and Developing Countries (ArCo)," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 629-654, April.
  3. Dalum, Bent & Laursen, Keld & Verspagen, Bart, 1999. "Does Specialization Matter for Growth?," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 267-88, June.
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  8. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Mario Cimoli & Jorge Katz, 2003. "Structural reforms, technological gaps and economic development: a Latin American perspective," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 387-411, April.
  10. Mario Cimoli & Nelson Correa, 2002. "Trade Openess and Technological Gaps in Latin America: a Low Growth Trap," LEM Papers Series 2002/14, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  11. Rodríguez, Francisco & Rodrik, Dani, 1999. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Sceptic's Guide to the Cross-National Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2143, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Reinhardt, Nola & Peres, Wilson, 2000. "Latin America's New Economic Model: Micro Responses and Economic Restructuring," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(9), pages 1543-1566, September.
  13. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1994. "Sources of economic growth," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-46, June.
  14. Nelson, Richard R & Pack, Howard, 1999. "The Asian Miracle and Modern Growth Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(457), pages 416-36, July.
  15. Cimoli, Mario & Dosi, Giovanni, 1995. "Technological Paradigms, Patterns of Learning and Development: An Introductory Roadmap," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 243-68, September.
  16. Abramovitz, Moses, 1986. "Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 385-406, June.
  17. Mario, Cimoli, 2005. "Heterogeneidad estructural, asimetrías tecnológicas y crecimiento en América Latina
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    ," MPRA Paper 3832, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Fagerberg, Jan, 1994. "Technology and International Differences in Growth Rates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 1147-75, September.
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